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The Second Amendment; Will it Get Dangerous?

Jul 19th, 2009 | 
What did Sotomayor say and did she get it wrong?

How quickly the opponents are going to work at limiting the Courts decision.  This is the third installment of the series looking at the Second Amendment and what’s on the horizon. You can view my previous articles on this subject entitled ‘The Supreme Court Said What?” and “Does It Really Mean I Can Have a Gun?”

Heller v. District of Columbia was a monumental decision by the Supreme Court.  Let me give you a little background on the case.  A group of six in 2003 sued the District of Columbia for its ban on guns as it pertains to the Firearms Control Act 1975.  It was named after Dick Heller who actually was turned down to carry a gun.  He was also a security guard in D.C.  It went through the various courts and appeals and finally made it into the Supreme Court.   The law in D.C . was so strict it was actually against the law to carry a rifle from your bedroom to your living room to get ready for a hunting trip among many arcane rules.  The Supreme Court took the case when the 2nd (Sotomayor) and 9th Circuit Courts had ruled differently on the interpretation of the Second Amendment as it pertains to individuals having the right to “bear arms.”  Vice President Dick Cheney filed a “friend of the court”  brief that went against the George Bush administrations policy on the issue.

What court cases have we seen since the ruling?

Since June of 2008 at least 60 cases have been heard in the lower courts testing the constitutionality of the existing laws.   Included are rights of felons, drug addicts, illegal aliens, and violent offenders.  Cases surrounding the use of machine guns, sawed-off shotguns, types of ammunition, and location to schools have been heard.  So far all the existing laws have been upheld.  The chief reason is this part of the Heller ruling that says:

“Nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions on the commercial sale of arms.”

michael-bloombergMayor Michael Bloomberg has said that all the cities gun laws meet the test and should hold up in court.  The NRA is still pondering going after NYC.   In Illinois a real battle will be waged in the courts.  The NRA lost its appeal to the 7th Circuit as its determining factor was based on the theory that Heller applied only to the Federal Government (including the District of Columbia), and not to states or their subordinate jurisdictions.  Remember this argument as I will come back to this later as it relates to Sotomayor’s rulings.  This ruling conflicted with the 9th Circuit Courts ruling, so expect to see more challenges out of Illinois.

In San Fransisco California a suit was filed on January 14th 2009 which was settled out of court that will allow a resident to carry a handgun in SFHA apartment building.  Seems all the criminals where armed and the NRA’s challenge has made it possible for the residents to protect themselves.  I believe that was the original intent of the Second Amendment.

Since the ruling in D.C. local ordinances are being passed to make it difficult to have a gun shop in D.C. or purchase ammo.  In California the Legislature has taken a different approach.  Instead of banning guns, they have gone after ammunition.  AB 962  and AB 2062 will attempt to limit the amount of rounds you can purchase in any given month to 50 rounds.  No Internet purchases or family transfers.  They will use some fingerprint device to ensure compliance and require sellers to be registered with the State.  I don’t know about you but I used to blow off 50 rounds just getting warmed up back on the farm.  Look for more challenges in that area.

ammoI asked several of my FB friends to send me some info on other countries that have eliminated or severely curtailed their population in carry a gun.  Here is one such story from England written by Roberts Waters and supplied to me by my FB friend Theresa Flick.

You’re sound asleep when you hear a thump outside your bedroom door. Half awake, and nearly paralyzed with fear, you hear muffled whispers. At least two people have broken into your house and are moving your way. With your heart pumping, you reach down beside your bed and pick up your shotgun. You rack a shell into the chamber, then inch toward the door and open it. In the darkness, you make out two shadows. One holds something that looks like a crowbar. When the intruder brandishes it as if to strike, you raise the shotgun and fire. The blast knocks both thugs to the floor. One writhes and screams while the second man crawls to the front door and lurches outside.

burglarAs you pick up the telephone to call police, you know you’re in trouble. In your country, most guns were outlawed years before, and the few that are privately owned are so stringently regulated as to make them useless. Yours was never registered.

Police arrive and inform you that the second burglar has died. They arrest you for First Degree Murder and Illegal Possession of a Firearm. When you talk to your attorney, he tells you not to worry: authorities will probably plea the case down to manslaughter.

“What kind of sentence will I get?” you ask. “Only ten-to-twelve years,” he replies, as if that’s nothing. “Behave yourself, and you’ll be out in seven.”

The next day, the shooting is the lead story in the local newspaper. Somehow, you’re portrayed as an eccentric vigilante while the two men you shot are represented as choir boys. Their friends and relatives can’t find an unkind word to say about them. Buried deep down in the article, authorities acknowledge that both “victims” have been arrested numerous times. But the next day’s headline says it all: “Lovable Rogue Son Didn’t Deserve to Die.” The thieves have been transformed from career criminals into Robin Hood-type pranksters.

As the days wear on, the story takes wings. The national media picks it up, then the international media. The surviving burglar has become a folk hero.

Your attorney says the thief is preparing to sue you, and he’ll probably win.

The media publishes reports that your home has been burglarized several times in the past and that you’ve been critical of local police for their lack of effort in apprehending the suspects. After the last break-in, you told your neighbor that you would be prepared next time. The District Attorney uses this to allege that you were lying in wait for the burglars.

A few months later, you go to trial. The charges haven’t been reduced, as your lawyer had so confidently predicted. When you take the stand, your anger at the injustice of it all works against you. Prosecutors paint a picture of you as a mean, vengeful man. It doesn’t take long for the jury to convict you of all charges. The judge sentences you to life in prison.

This case really happened. On August 22, 1999, Tony Martin of Emneth, Norfolk, England, killed one burglar and wounded a second. In April 2000, he was convicted and is now serving a life term.

I don’t know about you, but this better not happen in our country now after the ruling by the Supreme Court.  They fact this gun wasn’t registered shouldn’t have mattered!  When we put victims in jail not the criminals, we live in a sick society.

From my FB friend Tim Porter, a look at Australian statistics.  This article was so good I won’t paraphrase and give you full access to it here. A lot of talk goes back to what the original intent was in the creation of the Amendments.  From my FB friend Theresa Flick here are some quotes to help us out.  I think its pretty clear from just these few quotes.

Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples’ liberty’s teeth.
George Washington.

Arms in the hands of citizens may be used at individual discretion… in private self-defense. John Adams.

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
Thomas Jefferson.

What has Sonia Sotomayor said about this?   Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor ruled in January 2009 that states do not have to obey the Second Amendment’s commandment that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.  What???  From CBSNews.com Matt Cover:

In Maloney v. Cuomo, Sotomayor signed an opinion of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit that said the Second Amendment does not protect individuals from having their right to keep and bear arms restricted by state governments.  The opinion said that the Second Amendment only restricted the federal government from infringing on an individual’s right to keep and bear arms. As justification for this position, the opinion cited the 1886 Supreme Court case of Presser v. Illinois.

Sotomayor, however, said that even though the Heller decision held that the right to keep and bear arms was a natural right–and therefore could not be justly denied to a law-abiding citizen by any government, federal, state or local–the Second Circuit was still bound by the 1886 case, because Heller only dealt indirectly with the issue before her court.  I will have to respectfully disagree with Sotomayor as I think the Heller case made it perfectly clear!  I can see that battle being waged on the Supreme Court in the near future.

“It is settled law, however, that the Second Amendment applies only to limitations the federal government seeks to impose on this right,” said the opinion. Quoting Presser, the court said, “it is a limitation only upon the power of Congress and the national government, and not upon that of the state.”  The Maloney v. Cuomo case involved James Maloney, who had been arrested for possessing a pair of nunchuks. New York law prohibits the possession of nunchucks, even though they are often used in martial arts training and demonstrations.

chopWhat’s next?  No more shovels and pick axes?  Chopsticks?  This is exactly what the Chinese did to their culture to control them centuries before.  It’s these little battles we need to watch as it relates to you and me protecting ourselves down the road.

In my next installment… and final, I will tie up some lose ends and state my official position on the subject.  There is a battle going on in the country regarding the rights we were given 200 years ago.  I hope you will take part and stay informed as there may come a day when arming yourself may be the only thing available when the police departments in your town have been decimated by budget cuts.  In Sacramento this is no joke for us!   We could go from 30+ patrol cars per shift down to 6!  Don’t call a cop, call your neighbor who has a gun!  Please forward this article to your friends to keep them up to speed on things.  I plan on making the voters in the 5th District very informed once I get elected.   Educated voters make it tough for Politicians to vote the party line or status quo.  Time to hold those in office accountable.

The Paul Smith for Congress website is www.paulsmithforcongress.org
Paul Smith.  Republican Candidate for the 5th Congressional District (Sacramento)

Short URL: http://www.smithheggumreport.com/?p=319

Posted by on Jan 7 2011. Filed under Paul Smith, Political, Republican, Samantha Heggum, United States. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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